Disability Access for your website
It is not only polite, but an increasing legal necessity to make your website as friendly as possible to those who may have disabilities. It also sets a positive example as a Christian witness.
For detailed information on accessibility including checking points visit http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505/. Here is an extract:
The power of text equivalents lies in their capacity to be rendered in ways that are accessible to people from various disability groups using a variety of technologies. Text can be readily output to speech synthesizers and braille displays, and can be presented visually (in a variety of sizes) on computer displays and paper. Synthesized speech is critical for individuals who are blind and for many people with the reading difficulties that often accompany cognitive disabilities, learning disabilities, and deafness. Braille is essential for individuals who are both deaf and blind, as well as many individuals whose only sensory disability is blindness. Text displayed visually benefits users who are deaf as well as the majority of Web users.
Providing non-text equivalents (e.g., pictures, videos, and pre-recorded audio) of text is also beneficial to some users, especially nonreaders or people who have difficulty reading. In movies or visual presentations, visual action such as body language or other visual cues may not be accompanied by enough audio information to convey the same information. Unless verbal descriptions of this visual information are provided, people who cannot see (or look at) the visual content will not be able to perceive it.
The w3.org page contains all you need to know in accessibility guidelines for your website. The following list provides a brief guide to make your netAdventist website more accessible to the public.
- Titles: Make sure your page has a title which describes the content of the page clearly and accurately.
- Images, videos, non-text elements: Add a clear and brief description as alternative text to images, videos, complex charts, billboards, or diagrams. Every image needs to have the attribute alt="place your image/video description here". Describe the appearance of visual content as clearly as possible.
- Make sure background colours provide good contrast to the font.
- Use colours that are easy to read and comfortable to look.
- If using colours to divide sections of information make sure they can be easily read on monochrome screens.
- Where possible provide a CSS file in your template design with alternative text and background combinations.
- A page should have no more than 50 links.
- Completely avoid the use of "click here" or "more". Use a more descriptive phrase as the link. Example, use the heading of your article.
- Make correct use of grammar.
- It is highly recommended to use short rather than long phrases. This will allow the screen reader's software to keep a better intonation. This will also benefit people who can read without aids.
- It is preferable to use full words rather than abbreviations.
- Moving Text: Give the user the facility to stop / play a scrolling text or automatically updating content.
- Try to use one-level menus only.
- If you need to create a 2 level menu, provide a submenu for that section and show it in every page of the section.
- It is preferable to place submenus on the left side of the page.
- Keep things clear, simple and attractive.
P. Y. Carrillo. October 2009